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Friday, December 5, 2008

Hands-On Christmas

It's Christmastime! Hi!! It's me! Can you see me?! Yes, I'm a total dork. That's me waving at you from the shiny silver ball... And see? I'm waving at you with my hand!
And now, I am using that completely lame segue to say that around here we love having a good hands-on Christmas.

I am a tradition nut, and Jim appreciates them too, but he doesn't have the heart for them that I do. I believe in having less-is-more traditions, but making them special, and doing them well.

In the past few years we have built a few little Christmas traditions that have really stuck- and they have made the holiday more tangible and memorable for us and our kids.


I love giving our family a chance to touch things and play and experience this season, and build lovely memories that give us significant traditions, both meaningful and neat as we celebrate Christ's birth and also some just for fun, that will anchor us over the years.


And so, starting Monday, I'm hoping to share a few of the easy, inexpensive and fun traditions we have carried out these past few years that have really stuck- and they stick mostly because they involve our senses and we enjoy them together.


The best traditions are hands-on, everybody together, tangible memories.

For today, I thought I'd throw in a few things I did to get hands-on with decorating. It's always an adventure in a new house! Nothing's been done before, so it's all new! This really has nothing to do with tradition specifically, but it is fun to make the house sparkle a little, isn't it? And I love adding touches around the house that highlight some of the special meaning of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us...


I hope over the years I can teach my girls (and Hudson?...) that decorating is about making things personal and special, and not about spending money.


I printed these letters on my printer at home and cut them to size, and just strung them on a simple ribbon.You can find them here.See the ornaments in that lame waving picture above? I got those for half-off after Christmas at Target last year- and I love those colors together! This year, I made a throw (in October) just to go with them. I love that color of green! I printed these out at home too. I Googled something like, "Merry Christmas in many languages" and found this site and then just used different sized fonts in a Word document. You can also do this with peace, or anything else you can Google, I guess.

We had a great Decorating Day here this year! The girls love decorating in general with me, especially Grace! But Christmas is about 100% more exiting to them- because now they remember things year-to-year! And, it was neat because there were things they hadn't seen since we lived in our old house.
As much as I could, I tried keeping the breakable stuff out of reach, and then letting them dig through the boxes and help unpack it. They were also excellent at the fake snow, I might add.
I made a couple more things here- the white matted pictures are a pattern I printed off from here. Then I used red sparkly scrapbook stickers to spell out Wonderful Counselor and the other is Price of Peace. Then I added a .25 snowflake.

These are some plastic house numbers I painted gold, and more of my cheap ornaments! Then, I found a copy of the sheet music for my favorite Christmas song, O Holy Night, and cut it into 5x7 pieces for framing.

This is Christmas memory gold already- Grace made me this verse from Isaiah with a gold pen, and it is proudly displayed. I'll do more of this in the future, even when it isn't Christmas, I'm sure.
(The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.)
So there's a few of my little hands-on projects I did this year! It's amazing what one can do when one shops the house and has a printer full of card stock.
See you next week!

18 comments:

Tammy said...

Wow! You've done such a great job. Thanks for sharing the links too...I think I will checking them out today!

We don't have many traditions in our house. But doing some things like this would be a good way to start some!

Kim said...

Love your style, Megan. The decorations are lovely. Merry Christmas!!

Kim said...

Love your style, Megan. The decorations are lovely. Merry Christmas!!

sarah said...

Your house looks great! I love all the ideas, thanks for sharing, I'm definitely going to have to try some. Can't wait to see more.

Lisa said...

You are so creative. You need your own show! Love your ideas though, it all looks great. And I'm still thinking you must be the best time-manager in the entire universe!

Mandy said...

Megan, you just amaze me! It's all beautiful! I need to learn a little more from you. I feel that our home is homey...but I keep the same things up all year and just rotate a very few pieces. We don't have an attic or basement and hardly any storage...so that is a lot of my reasoning. Where do you get all your frames? And how do you make sure that your next picture arrangement will match all the nails in your walls? And how did you hang the merry christmas banner without leaving terrible nail holes for the rest of the year?

Jackie said...

I love the sheet music idea - that is my favorite Christmas song too! And that shade of green is gorgeous - I've become obsessed with it this year!

Elizabeth said...

loving your christmas decor...so special & unique!

Ashley said...

I love love LOVE your decorations! Makes me want to post about my own adventures in my new place. :) I think I need to make that a goal for next week ...

Sarah said...

I shamelessly copied the "Merry Christmas" letters and love it in my front hallway! Thank you for the ideas - I am in need of some inspiration this year. The brain power is at a low, so copying is my way to go :)

Megan said...

i'm glad somebody's getting inspired! honestly- no one else will have something just like you made, and it was super cheap, and original for you! what's better than that when you're making your home special?

Megan

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Beautiful. Simple. Perfect.

Shannon said...

Awesome Megan!!! I love it! I just adore the letters hanging from the ribbon, so simple and perfect. It looks just stunning over the bed. I agree - you need your own show, or to be become a professional decorator or something - you would rock!

I notice you have so many things framed all over your home? Where do you get them all? I would love to add things like that to our walls, but don't have a huge budget right now for things like frames. Are cheap ones just as good?

Looking forward to checking in for more tips :-)

Anne Elizabeth said...

I've been looking forward to seeing what you came up with:) Everything looks really great. You have the neatest ideas. I REALLY like the box with the number 25 on it with the ornaments! I feel like I am looking at a PB catalog when I stop by your blog:)

anne said...

YOU ROCK. I love it all. :)
I'm diggin the Merry Christmas above your bed and the framed 25 the most. :)
Good thing I decorated BEFORE Liam came because I certianly would NOT be doing it now...but your ideas inspire me FOR sure. Already thinking about next year

Ashlie said...

Very impressive!! You are too creative!

Grammy Staffy said...

What a wonderful hand's on Christmas you've made.

I just love all of your decorating ideas.

You are one special gal!

Emily (emilyborkenhagen@hotmail.com) said...

WOW. So flawlessly done and I just LOVE your flair for style and decorating...I wish I had a teeeny bit of that! Love it. Thanks for sharing!